Questions over budget surplus dim Brazil’s prospects

Joe Leahy – The Financial Times, 7/26/2015

Brazil’s economy may be in freefall but until recently its hard-pressed citizens could at least count on the unwavering commitment of their famously hawkish finance minister to limit the damage.

Rushed to hospital last month with what local media speculated was a pulmonary embolism, a dangerous condition involving bloodclotting in the lungs, Joaquim Levy nevertheless embarked a few hours later on a flight to New York to tout Brazil to potential investors.

So when Mr Levy announced last week he was backpedalling on one of his key promises — to quickly restore Brazil’s sinking public finances to good health — markets reacted with surprise.

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